Neptune cleared to tackle stalled eyesore site

Neptune Developments' £45m rescue project for an abandoned site on the dock road in Liverpool city centre has been granted planning permission.

Neptune plans four new buildings on the site on the corner of Cornhill and Wapping. The first will contain 159 serviced apartments and around 1,500 sq ft of leisure and retail space; the second will house 42 apartments; outline permission has been granted for the third and fourth buildings to include a 185-bed hotel and a building with flexible uses reserved such as health, leisure, offices or residential.

The plans also include the completion of the underground car park to create 360 spaces for residents, employees and other visitors, and the creation of a landscaped central plaza.

The scheme will also feature an employment and training strategy to encourage the employment of local people and companies in the construction and operation of the development.

Plans by Windsor Developments to develop the site in 2006 were halted when the developer went into liquidation after £15m had been spent on the site.

Steve Parry, managing director of Neptune, said: "This is an exciting scheme for us – one which will radically enhance this particular site with four new buildings and the improved public realm.

"We are aiming to make a hugely positive contribution to the overall regeneration of the city centre."

The scheme was designed by Liverpool-based architects Falconer Chester Hall. Alastair Shepherd, director of FCH, said: "The site is highly visible as it sits along a main route into the city and, as such, we have been careful to design a building which sits well with its neighbours whilst being a distinct addition to the Baltic Triangle area.

"Our approach has been to marry the use of masonry, seen in nearby warehouses, with bright colours associated with Liverpool's waterfront. The quality of the new public square is also a priority, in order to create an attractive destination for visitors and residents.'

The main contractor for the scheme is Balfour Beatty. Neptune hopes to be on site by late summer 2012.

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